By: April Sliwak | Founder
“This summer I’ll be called into stillness. Stillness with the Lord to hear from him; all the things he wants to say to me that perhaps I was too busy to hear before. Stillness to be heard; to pray, dream and ask”; excerpt from my July Newsletter.
Thank you for your prayers for the healing of my wound. God is faithful and is a Healer.
In this season I studied Ann Voskamp’s, Waymaker, a six-session guide including a weekly video with self-reflection questions. I had the pleasure of meeting Ann in Ocean City, NJ with my daughters, sister, and friends at the Tabernacle in July. It was so sweet to hear her lovely voice and message and then to meet her afterwards. The experience was complimentary and solidifying to what I heard from God in my stillness; “Yes, you’ve been too busy to hear me before but now that I have your attention, I’m calling you, my beloved April, into a season of a sabbatical.”!
This time I will not be making my own plans but instead, I’ll be obedient.
He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. Psalm 23:2-3
Friends, I’ve been serving in Her Life Speaks for seven years and God is calling me into a Sabbatical this year until January 2024. What is a Sabbatical and its purpose? Well, it’ll be a period for me to spend time with God. It’s a time for soul care, travel, receiving and to be still. A season of prayer, reading, worship, and doing nothing at all. A time for me to just sit, feel, and listen. A Sabbatical is a time to reconnect with the Lord and to be blessed by the loving kindness and unconditional love He offers.
I covet your prayers as I navigate stillness. This should be interesting and I can’t wait for all that God has to show me. I thank you as you continue to support Her Life Speaks and its mission.
Has God called you into something new this season? Are you afraid? Excited? Will you be obedient? Will you trust?
Friends, while I’m away on sabbatical, I’ve appointed ShaBree Henry, Program Specialist for Her Life Speaks, to be the Interim Executive Director. ShaBree joined HLS 18 months ago and she jumped right into ministry to serve women and girls, particularly with The Beauty Project.
ShaBree’s servant leadership was evident right from the start. She is a mastermind behind programs, organization, social media, marketing, and management. She’s gifted in discernment and encouragement and ShaBree loves the Lord. I trust her and have leaned into her for sage advice, prayer, and support.
Please join me in supporting ShaBree as she oversees Her Life Speaks in my absence. Keep her in your prayers anytime you think of her and send her an encouraging message or prayer if you feel led to: ShaBree@herlifespeaks.org
With a heart full of gratitude,
In the spring of 2022, a friend and ministry leader invited me to attend a Her Life Speaks’ Tea Party. I said, “Yes!”, to her invitation, because who doesn’t like tea, yummy cookies, sandwiches? ️ Since then, the rest has been a “God Story”!
For the past 18 months, It's been an honor to be “in community” and serve as the ministry’s Program & Development Strategist. It’s been a blessing to work closely with our leaders to strategically develop sustainable program experiences that will allow women and young girls to identify God in their stories.
During the day, I am a Literacy Teacher, a Certified, Master Neuro-Transformational Results Coach, Story Midwife, and Publisher. Most importantly, I have a mandate from God to help women give birth to their stories. When I’m not writing, reading, or publishing, you can find me experimenting with a new vegan recipe and spending time with my family.
While April is on sabbatical, I am honored to serve as the Interim Executive Director. We will continue to connect women to Jesus by providing a community to discover the power of HER own story through HIS.
Tell your daughters about it, and let your daughters tell their daughters, and their daughters the next generation. Joel 1:3
By: April Sliwak
Founder of Her Life Speaks & The Beauty Project
Summer. Ahhhhhh…. It’s here!
Did you make plans for a vacay, staycay, day trip, new menu, new regiment, new job, new wardrobe, a new book, or a new boyfriend?! Is your schedule busy already? Did you include yourSELF care or yourSOUL care? It has been said, “If you want to make God laugh, make your own plans!”. That’s what I must have done. Made God laugh. Hysterically.
I had a wound injury a month ago which will take some time to heal. Lots of time. The whole summer of time. I won’t be at the pickleball court or walking anywhere soon. The plans I had to fellowship, swim, and travel got kiboshed. I confess that I was confused, angry, disappointed, and sad at what my new summer was going to look like. But God reminded me:
“All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.
As I lean into this verse, I know the Lord allowed this to happen and he has a purpose for it. My mindset has had a shift toward hope, trust, and anticipation. This summer I’ll be called into stillness. Stillness with the Lord to hear from him; all the things he wants to say to me that perhaps I was too busy to hear before. Stillness to be heard; to pray, dream and ask. I may have made God laugh, but he certainly got my attention. Who can ask for more?
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
If we want to be heard, known, and seen as women, how will you include stillness with God into your summer routine?
Believing in you.
By April Sliwak
Founder of Her Life Speaks and The Beauty Project
Wow! Praising the Lord for his grace, mercy and love over the The Beauty Project in Ocean Grove, NJ on April 29, 2023. It was super windy, rainy and chilly, but that didn’t stop God from receiving all the glory on his day to shine. And did He shine! The Youth Temple was a beam of light where girls, moms and young women gathered from NJ, PA, NY and CT. Women were drawn to a little square mile at the Jersey Shore to be encouraged about their Identity in Christ.
You are God’s Masterpiece Ephesians 2:10 was the theme scripture as we centered our planning and hopes for conviction and change for our future women leaders. Girls left empowered by knowing who God says they are and not what the “world” labels them as. Girls are created with gifts, talents and for God’s purposes. Hearing comes by faith and faith reminds us that we are girls and women who are worthy, loved and enough as God’s
heritage. We are created for God’s purpose in the places we’re planted.
Madi Prewett Troutt, our guest speaker, spoke eloquently about knowing and claiming who we are as God’s daughters and to let go of the lies we believe. While I passionately equipped moms and young women to love the Lord, others and themselves by using scriptures and stories from raising my daughters. The girls received a special treat as Lauren Caron challenged them to be intentional about having and choosing healthy
relationships. A double portion by worship leader, Vanessa Malinesi, as she shared her story and led the audience with truth in song.
The Lord is faithful and we saw him throughout the day shining his light.
We’re so thankful for all those who attended, our sponsors, the volunteers and especially the team of women who led The Beauty Project into fruition. They were each amazing, gracious and selfless in their service to the Lord.
On a personal note, I’m so humbled and grateful to the Lord for the opportunity to lead women into their giftedness, and to use my story as it interceded with God’s plans to gather in community so girls would hear and know that God loves them!
Were you there on that day?
I’d appreciate hearing your takeaways and inspirations from The Beauty
Project in the comments or by email: email@example.com
This is a note April received in the mail from a sister-in Christ:
I agree with you, that The Beauty Project event taking place in my favorite place, Ocean Grove, NJ on Sat. April 29, 2023 is just what teenage girls need at this stage of their lives. I know from personal experience.
God recently brought to my memory the terrible struggles I had as a teenager when I bought into the lie that I was a mistake and should have been a boy. That was a deep, dark secret that no other person knew until now. Thank God there were no medical treatments available to endeavor changing your gender back then! A suicide attempt at around age 18/19 and was not successful in taking me down either.
After getting saved and trusting Jesus as my Savior, I got healed of that ugly lie. I expressed it to other women in group therapy when I was 34 years of age. What a relief to have that heavy burden removed after all those years and accept myself as a child of the Most High God.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
Thank you and your team for all your efforts on behalf of these precious girls. The battle is raging.
I am washed by the blood, cleansed by the blood, saved by the blood and healed by the blood; and you, devil, cannot defeat the blood! Amen!
Her Life Speaks is all about Her testimony, Her life, and who God is in Her story. Here we write our stories in hopes of helping other women find their relationship with Jesus Christ.